PLANT CITY – Twenty-three new Eagle Scouts were introduced and an award was presented in memory of a longtime Boy Scout supporter at an annual Friends of Scouting banquet.
Speaker after speaker praised Boy Scouting at the Thursday dinner, where individuals and corporations were thanked for backing the organization.
“Each of the Scouts who wear the uniform today will live a better tomorrow,” featured speaker Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
Judd said one third of his deputies were Scouts and they are among his most courageous and loyal employees.
Judd, who was also a Scout, said “the investment you make in these young men’s lives will pay dividends that are priceless. A program highlight included the presentation of an annual community service award that this year was renamed in memory of Dean Snyder, a longtime Scouting supporter who died in August after a bout with cancer at age 58. The award was presented to City Commissioner Bill Dodson.
Snyders’ sons, Adam and Brandon, presented the award to Dodson, who has also been a longtime Scouting supporter. Snyder’s wife of 37 years, Ceresa Michele “Mikie” Snyder, was in the audience.
Dodson said he was humbled by the award named for his longtime friend.
“Dean Snyder was a great guy and I miss him a lot,” he said. “He’s one of the few people who come along that you’re blessed to know.”
Previous winners of the community service award included B.M. “Mac” Smith, 2004; Robert Trinkle, 2005; Charles White, 2006; John Dicks, 2007; Robert Edwards, 2008; Dean Snyder, 2009; Gary Sawyer, 2010; Dr. Hal Brewer, 2011; Fred Johnson, 2012; and Floyd Hall, 2013.
New Eagle Scouts recognized during the program included Chase Dunn, Jacob Fortune, Alan Gambrell Jr., Zachary Maines, Eli Martin, Randall Platt, Isaac Rivers, Christopher Tatum and Christopher Tice, Troop 5; John Beatty, Taylor Bell, Daniel Brown, Benjamin Carson, Seth Hetzler, Jesse Jordan, Scott McDonough and Hunter Sutherland, Troop 14; Robert Rowland II, Troop 700; Liam Clancy and Elijah Watson, Troop 734; and Jacob Price and Joshua Price, Troop 744.
Eagle Scout is scouting’s highest honor. To earn Eagle status, the Scouts have to complete a community service project.
The projects completed by the new Plant City area Eagle Scouts included ones that benefited churches, a county park and the Plant City Entertainment community theater.